Getting a job at Amazon is a tough (at times bordering on grueling) process that’s hard to distill to just five steps. Nonetheless, below are a few considerations to help you along.
1) Take on resolving challenging problems: My first piece of advice covers your corporate (or academic) career prior to your Amazon interview. Amazon practices behavioral interviewing, which means that your interview there will be a reader’s-digest version of your career to-date. If you have played it safe and have not gotten enough noteworthy accomplishments, Amazon will expose you during the interview. As the saying goes: “there’s nothing worse than good marketing of a bad product.” Therefore, the number one pre-requisite of getting hired by Amazon is having accumulated a portfolio of impactful achievements. One effective method to do so is to take on problems that are tough to resolve and entail lots of conflict. In other words, when you see a building burning, run towards it, not away from it. Dealing with (and ideally resolving) conflict will naturally result in you gaining accomplishments (or failures) you could boast about in a behavioral setting.
2) Pair your best professional accomplishments with Amazon’s Leadership Principles: The majority (80% or so) of Amazon interview questions will likely be behavioral ones and based on Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles. You must prepare accordingly: make a list with Amazon’s Leadership Principles. Then make a second list with your top professional accomplishments. Lastly, link the two lists, by connecting each of your accomplishments with the Amazon Leadership Principles that the accomplishment demonstrates best.
3) Unpack each accomplishment in a written SOAR one-pager: Describe each of your accomplishments in one page (up to a page and a half) by using the SOAR framework (Situation, Obstacle, Action, Results.) Coming to the Amazon interview with clear SOAR outlines of your finest work, will help you sound professional and confident and prepared. There are few things worse than having to think of an on-the-spot answer to Amazon’s tough behavioral questions.
4) Practice answering scenario questions in your job function: The minority (20% or so) of Amazon’s questions will likely be functional ones. A good way to prepare is to find interview questions online (GeeksforGeeks, CareerCup, Glassdoor, Quora, etc.) that Amazon has previously asked other candidates in your job function. Try answering each question after thinking about it for about 5 minutes. It’s useful to practice answering questions you haven’t seen before (with the element of surprise) to simulate the interview experience more accurately.
5) Make your answers relevant to Amazon: Amazon is likely to ask what may seem like generic questions, such as “What is your biggest professional accomplishment?”, “What is your biggest professional failure?”, “Tell me about yourself.”, “Why Amazon?”, etc. Don’t answer these questions with generalities that could apply to other high-tech companies. Make your answers intensely focused on Amazon.
I hope the above helps. Good luck.
This originally appeared on amazonbound.today.